Stories & Features

6 ways industrial businesses can use our free MyHydro tool to get ahead

Image of warehouse worker using a laptop computer
Log into MyHydro on bchydro.com regularly to keep an eye on your business' electricity use. Don't forget to look for wasted power after-hours.

Start by using your electricity use history to your advantage

We asked Jack Young, operational-savings specialist at Panevo– a Vancouver sustainability consultancy – for a list of ways industrial businesses can use MyHydro to become more energy efficient.

With MyHydro you can...

1. Benchmark your power consumption with your production

You can export your power consumption history as an Excel file in time steps from 5 minutes to hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. This allows you to benchmark your power consumption in Excel against your production information. You can see whether there are improvements to be made compared to industry energy targets, or discover significant variations between shifts, which could indicate some shifts could operate more efficiently.

2. See how much power one machine uses

Wondering how much power one machine or piece of equipment actually uses when in operation? Find a quiet period one evening or on the weekend with a low baseload power consumption. Then run the machine for a short period, 15 – 60 minutes. You should be able to see the difference using MyHydro's detailed data over the automatically recorded 5-minute intervals.

3. Check for wasted power after-hours

Monitor and compare your after-hours power consumption, in kW, to check if equipment is left running. Compare weeknight overnight periods against Christmas and other public holidays – usually your lowest consumption is on these holidays. Find out what's left on and whether it's required to be left on or was just forgotten. Reducing your off-peak power consumption really adds up to substantial savings across the whole year, with little effort.

4. Confirm the effects of energy-saving measures

Trial an energy saving measure during a quiet period with low demand, and if the effect is large enough, you'll be able to see the effect of this trial using MyHydro's detailed 5-minute data. This could be as simple as manually turning specific equipment/lights off to trial the effect of adding idle timers. You'll need to run the equipment for 15 – 60 minutes in "normal" operation, then at least the same time to trial the energy saving measure in order to get a good average to compare the before and after energy consumption.

5. Investigate your peak demand

A significant part of most customers' bill is related to peak demand charges. This peak demand is your maximum power draw over any 15-minute period for each monthly billing cycle, and is recorded in MyHydro. Think of it as a high tide mark, which is reset each billing cycle.

Using MyHydro you can see exactly what your peak demand is over each month, and see exactly when it occurred to the nearest 5 minutes. If you can link this peak demand to a specific date/time and production task (or combination of tasks), then you can understand if it's practical to reduce it. For example, you may want to shift a certain production task to an after-hours period to avoid running extra machinery when your power demand is highest during the day. By doing this for the whole monthly billing cycle, you can try to avoid raising your peak demand for that billing cycle, reducing the peak demand charges on your next bill.

6. Set-up MyHydro alerts for power factor and peak demand

There are many reasons why your bill could be higher than expected. Undetected compressed air leaks and operating inefficient equipment are two common causes. Surcharges are another. By signing-up for MyHydro's SMS and email alerts and checking back regularly, you'll gain a better understanding of how things such as seasonal changes and everyday habits affect your electricity use.

For more information about our free MyHydro tool or how to save energy using your electricity use history, call the Business Help Desk at 1 866 522 4713. If you don't already have a MyHydro Profile, begin by creating a profile here.